There are several ways to phrase a will provision for Davidson's future benefit so that it will both meet the requirements for a valid bequest, and accurately reflect your wishes as to the college's ultimate use of your legacy.
We use unrestricted bequests to help meet our most urgent needs at the time we receive the bequest. Such bequests allow us the greatest flexibility, and can be made with specific property, a sum or money, or as a percentage of your estate.
You should consult your attorney about the legal requirements in your state, but here is an example of language you and your attorney might include:
"I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Davidson College, located in Davidson, North Carolina, (the sum of ___$) or (___ percent of my estate) or (specific items of property) or (the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate). This gift may be used to further the educational objectives of Davidson College in such a manner as the Trustees of the college may direct."
Designating a percentage of the residue of your estate (the part left over after specific bequests are made) allows you to allocate appropriate fractions of your estate in advance, while allowing for changes in the overall size of your estate. This can help simplify your future planning by making it unnecessary to change your will if during your lifetime it becomes necessary to dispose of certain property specifically mentioned in your will.
If you wish to support a specific element of college life, such as scholarships, the library, or an academic department, you or your attorney should contact the Planned Giving Office in advance to discuss the designation you have in mind. As the college's needs may change over time, we recommend that any such restrictions be stated broadly, or as alternatives. Here is an example of language you and your attorney might include:
"If, in the opinion of the Trustees of Davidson College or their successors the need for funds for the purpose described no longer exists at some future date, the Trustees or their successors are authorized to use these funds in the best interest of the college."
You can designate both unrestricted and restricted bequests to create permanent endowment funds, which produce income for Davidson to use in perpetuity. To do this, include the following language after the description of the assets you intend to give:
"The property comprising this gift shall, for investment purposes, be merged with the general endowment funds of Davidson College, to be entered into the college's books and records as "The _____ Endowed Fund," and to be permanently known by that name. The principal of this Fund shall be retained, and the earnings from it used, in accordance with the college's policies for expenditure of endowment income, for the following purpose..."
You can add to existing endowed funds at Davidson, such as scholarship funds, library book funds, and endowments for academic departments, with specific bequests. If you would like your endowment bequest to go to a fund already in existence, or want to know if there is one, our Planned Giving staff will be happy to help you identify the appropriate fund and properly phrase the designation.